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A Chinese woman’s 35,000 km and ongoing journey across continents

Because of travel, “My world is getting bigger and bigger, and my worries fewer and fewer,” she was quoted as saying.

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A middle-aged Chinese woman drove 35,000 kilometers alone and spent eight months in an ongoing transcontinental journey. (photo from Zhao Ju-yang's We...

A middle-aged Chinese woman drove 35,000 kilometers alone and spent eight months in an ongoing transcontinental journey. (photo from Zhao Ju-yang's We... (CNA photo)

A middle-aged Chinese woman drove 35,000 kilometers alone and spent eight months on an ongoing journey that took her across the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa to search for “poetic inspiration and far-off places” in her mind, according to a Chinese media report on Tuesday.

The report on CHINANEWS.com said that Zhao Juyang (趙菊陽) from China’s southeastern province of Zhejiang was currently in Africa and her trip continued after traveling across Asia and Europe.
Zhao quit her job at a Chinese state-owned enterprise more than 10 years ago, then backpacked to Japan, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Kenya, and went on self-drive journeys to the United States and Thailand on separate occasions, the report said.

Later she transformed her travel experiences into books; and when she was putting out her second book, the idea of drive travel around the world came into her head, the report said.

A Chinese woman’s 35,000 km and ongoing journey across continents

photo from Zhao Juyang's Weibo

On June 26, just after her 40th birthday, Zhao drove her newly purchased off-road vehicle and set out on the transcontinental tour from Zhejiang’s Hangzhou City, the report said. She exited China into Mongolia, from where she would drive across Asia, Europe and Africa, making stops in Russia, Finland, Germany, Spain, Morocco, Serbia, Mali and Cameroon along the route, according to the report.

To Zhao, the most difficult part of taking a long journey is to make the decision to go, and once the decision is made, 80 percent of the difficulty is gone, according to the report. Even so, things that look easy would overwhelm people in the lead up to a trip like that, including countless times of searching for information, making phone calls and waiting for answers, the report said.

During the journey, she was robbed, had her belongings stolen, and driven her car to the edge of a cliff, the report said. Encountering all sorts of setbacks and accidents had made her think about quitting numerous times, but she kept going because of all the smiling faces that greeted her during the journey, according to the report.

A Chinese woman’s 35,000 km and ongoing journey across continents

photo from Zhao Juyang's Weibo

Zhao said she was not embarking on a “30 countries in 30 days” kind of a superficial tour; instead she liked to stay as long as a country’s visa allowed her to stay and go deep into small cities and small towns, uncover back roads and see their real world, the report said.

She said she was a poor traveler and would lower her expense as much as possible. For example, when traveling in Europe, if she could find a safe camping ground, she would stay overnight in her car and at the same time write a travelogue for submission to media for publication, and the earnings would be used to pay for part of her travel expenses, according to the report. Because of the travels, “My world is getting bigger and bigger, and my worries fewer and fewer,” she was quoted as saying.


Updated : 2022-01-21 09:17 GMT+08:00

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